Dodgers' move pays off at the gate, December 10, 1958
Frank Finch has a dry but telling story in The Times, breaking down how much each team benefited from the Dodgers' first season in the Coliseum. Overall Dodger attendance increased from 1,028,258 at Ebbets Field in 1957 to 1,845,556 at the Coliseum in 1958. Only the Phillies and the Reds didn't make more money going to Los Angeles, so the Dodgers paid the clubs to meet guarantees for their added travel expenses.
"We took the average attendance of each club at Ebbets Field over the last five years and guaranteed them that much in the Coliseum," the Dodgers' Buzzie Bavasi told Finch. They had to pay Philadelphia about $9,000 and Cincinnati about $1,950.
The trip to L.A. certainly increased travel budgets. Finch said some teams spent up to $30,000 more than the previous season. But revenues were way up too.
What teams were popular? The Cardinals drew 280,563 in eight games which earned them $77,154.82, Finch said. And the Milwaukee Braves drew 376,760 and earned $103,609 for their games in Los Angeles.
The Giants earned the biggest share from the Los Angeles receipts, $105,330.22 for drawing 383, 019 to their games in the Coliseum.